The sun is back, the snow has melted and the birds are about to begin fledging ("A seemingly endless election cycle finally comes to an end," May 25). It sounds like you could use some wilderness time.
Oh god no...
Time to start gearing up for 2018, lol!
Lynne Marie Duncan
This too shall pass
Thank you for the good work you have done. Take a deep breath. Storms and darkness never last forever.
Wendy L. Cohan
With luck like that...
With any luck, Trump will hire Gianforte to be press secretary and get him to return to where he came from ("House race takes its most bizarre turn yet with Gianforte's alleged assault of a reporter," May 25). Get the special election going again. Alas, a tyrantosaurus does live amongst us, and now represents our great state.
Stuck in the past
Recently you published a communication from a person who had attended the creationist conference at the University of Montana featuring Ken Ham. Ken Ham is originally from Australia, and is one of the original persons pushing the creationist doctrine. It was disappointing to read the comments by the participant because they reveal that the Creationist movement has not improved its arguments. For the record, the U.S. Supreme Court and several state supreme courts have ruled repeatedly that creationism is not a science, but only a religious belief.
The leading spokesperson, Duane Gish, who used to tour the U.S. debating biologists, admitted in his writings that there was no scientific test for creation because creation beliefs are not based on natural laws of science, but on revelation. I was asked to debate Gish at Idaho State University and I said I would be happy to on the condition that he present the scientific evidence that supports creation. He declined to do so.
The participant quoted in the Independent used old arguments, all of which have been refuted hundreds of times. The sad thing is that she was pointing to supposed problems with evolutionary studies, as though such difficulties support creation science, or as if creationism wins by default. Your long article on Ken Ham and his ilk ("Muddy the waters: Ken Ham, Greg Gianforte, and the creationist assault on science in Montana," May 11) reveals their true ethic: Make public schools look bad and depict scientists as suspect and evil. Frankly, trying to make a religious belief a legitimate science is clearly more wicked than anything else. We should not demean Christianity by such awful tactics.
Edwin W. House
It is refreshing to hear the media realize the threat of the alt-right ("Arming the left," May 18). Liberals of all areas need to radicalize in these times and be ready for these fascists, who have no coyness toward violence. "Leftist gun culture" needs to lose its oxymoronic connotation.
I have said this before and I say it again: People need to learn and understand gun responsibility, because just owning a gun will not protect you from a determined criminal. I'm all for gun ownership, but not when the gun owner does little more than put it in a corner, or is doing so because someone made them angry and they think getting a gun will solve their problem. Toting guns about, when you have no idea when or if you should use it, or facing some idiot who also has no idea, means one or more people will either get shot or just barely avoid being shot.
Saving for the future
The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) was recently reintroduced into Congress. The act would protect 23 million roadless acres as designated wilderness in five states, including Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and Oregon under the 1964 Wilderness Act.
Enactment of NREPA would have several major effects. It would preserve some of the last best wildlands in the country. These wildlands are crucial for many species, from bull trout to lynx to grizzly bears. This would include such wildlands near Missoula as the Great Burn, Sapphire Mountains/Stony Mountain, Allan Mountain and Blue Joint, as well as additions to the Selway Bitterroot, Mission Mountains and Bob Marshall wildernesses.
The protection of these wildlands would enhance the quality-of-life attributes of the five states that are fueling economic growth and opportunity. Economists have shown that people living in counties with significant amounts of protected wildlands, on the whole, possess higher incomes.
Protection of these lands would also save taxpayers significant money. Currently, nearly all logging sales in the region are money-losing affairs. Taking these lands out of the timber base would reduce the losses from below-cost timber sales.
In addition, recent research has found that protected lands have a lower percentage of high-severity fires compared to "managed" lands—i.e., lands under active timber management. So, this would again save money we currently expend on firefighting.
Finally, in the age of global warming, protection of these lands would help to store carbon. Unlogged lands hold far more carbon than logged lands. Just the carbon value of these protected lands is worth billions to Americans in terms of carbon storage.
Protecting these wildlands is a gift for the future and part of our collective national patrimony.
I absolutely loved this production ("Good theater and the meaning of life in Between the Lines' production of Stupid Fucking Bird," May 20). The casting was perfect. I could hear. I could see. I could laugh. I could cry. I could relate. The time flew.
Congratulations to Mason Wagner for taking a risk and making this year's series happen. All the seats were full, so he is tapping into an audience that wants more new work. Keep it coming, Mason!